Buffett's Berkshire Pitches $3.9 Billion Iowa Wind and Solar Project

Jan 20, 2022 03:57 PM ET
  • Berkshire targets 100% renewable energy for Iowa consumers
  • Proposal also includes a plan to research new technologies
Buffett's Berkshire Pitches $3.9 Billion Iowa Wind and Solar Project
Image: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is suggesting to spend $3.9 billion to bring even more wind and also solar generation to Iowa in a project that could be among the eco-friendly sector's biggest.

The "Wind Prime" renewable-energy project would bring 2,042 megawatts of wind generation and 50 megawatts of solar energy, Berkshire's MidAmerican Energy Co. said Wednesday in a statement. That might generate enough to power regarding 600,000 residences. The firm is likewise planning to fund research studies regarding modern technologies that could aid with carbon capture, energy storage space and also smaller nuclear reactors.

The project would certainly reinforce Iowa's currently substantial wind market. In 2019, the state produced 41% of its overall energy needs from wind, up from simply 5.1% in 2006, according to the Iowa Utilities Board. Governor Kim Reynolds called the Wind Prime project a "dedication and also financial investment on an entire brand-new level."

Berkshire, overseen by Buffett as ceo, has been developing MidAmerican's renewable efforts in the last few years. MidAmerican approximates that it delivered 88% renewable energy to Iowa clients on an annual basis in 2021.

Buffett has said that he anticipated the utility can accomplish "wind self-sufficiency" in Iowa. MidAmerican claimed Wednesday that the Wind Prime project will certainly assist the utility offer renewable resource equal to its Iowa consumers' annual use.

" As MidAmerican continues to progress towards delivering 100% renewable energy to our clients, we are also preparing to satisfy an important turning point of net-zero greenhouse gas exhausts," Kelcey Brown, president and also CEO of MidAmerican, claimed in the statement.

Berkshire expects the project to create 1,100 jobs throughout building and construction, and also another 125 for continuous initiatives. It can create approximately $24 million a year in local property-tax repayments on the turbines and also solar equipment, plus greater than $21 million in yearly landowner-easement settlements. Berkshire anticipates building to be finished in late 2024 if the project is approved.

" This stands to potentially be the solitary biggest wind project ever before constructed in the united state," Ethan Zindler, an analyst at BloombergNEF, stated in an e-mail. Still, projects of comparable size have actually been introduced and afterwards never ever ended up, so "there's a long way to go for this project."

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